Posts tagged with: how-to
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    There’s a pretty healthy economy online for selling and trading used smartphones. Unfortunately there’s no guarantee that even a well-kept and functional device wasn’t subjected to smoke and tar from a smoker. Maybe you can send the device back to the seller, but if you’re stuck with it, that’s a bummer. A buddy of mine recently found himself in this very situation with a phone, and it inspired me to look up what methods could be employed for cleaning a phone out. This is a problem we used to face with studio recording equipment back in the days when voice over announcers would ...

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    "Now that microsd cards of 200GB are available, let's make sure our devices don't have slots for them." - Google Despite dropping sdcard slots from its Nexus lineup years ago, Google quietly included a feature in Android Marshmallow 6.0 that makes sdcards infinitely more useful. Most of the time, adding an sdcard simply means you have a bunch of extra room for pictures, videos, and (if you're dedicated enough) a bit more wiggle room into which you can install your apps. The benefits for apps haven't been quite as cool due to some limitations: not all apps support being installed to the ...

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    "'OK Google' is the magical key-phrase that unlocks all the wondrous potential of your Android-powered device - and drives you nuts when someone on a podcast says it and all your Android's wake up and wait for your instructions." Now that my new house is built, my daily commute is over an hour long - each way. That's okay with me. I love to drive, the scenery is beautiful, Waze helps alert me to upcoming hazards, and thanks to Audible I'm "reading" more now than I ever have before. When a phone call comes in, thanks to the Bluetooth hands-free functionality built-in to my Prius, all I have ...

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    There used to be a time when, if you lost your phone, that was it - it was gone. You'd get in touch with your carrier and report it lost or stolen so any calls or texts wouldn't be added to your bill, but your options beyond that were pretty limited. A little later on, recovery options were added to help you find out where you phone was (just in case you lost in the couch or at the restaurant). If it was heading down the interstate at 70MPH, you could probably assume that it had been stolen - and you could remotely wipe it. While these tools can be very helpful, all a thief needs to do is ...

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    Chrome is the web browser at the center of Google's empire - both on desktops as well as mobile devices. In addition to being just a standalone app (which may or may not be preloaded on your smartphone), the Chrome engine also drives the component that displays web content inside apps. As you might expect, a vulnerability in that engine could cause significant problems for the device running it. Such is the case with a particularly troublesome Android Google Chrome exploit. During the recent PacSec conference in Tokyo, Qihoo 360 developer Guang Gong showed off a vulnerability which takes ...

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    Android has gone through a few iterations of "shut up and leave me alone" "Do Not Disturb" mode, but hasn't gotten it right - until Android 6.0 Marshmallow. At 2am my wife isn't very supportive of me being "Joe the Android Guy™". That seems to be when my nightstand lights up with alerts from all over the world. My nightstand typically has an Android Wear smartwatch cradled and charging, a Nexus 9 and Nexus 7 tablet, my Nexus 6, and usually at least one other phone or device that I'm evaluating. When an alert comes in from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Skype, Hangouts, Gmail, ...

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    Just when we thought we had this whole "quick charging" thing all figured out and knew which car- and wall-chargers to get, Google went and confused everyone all over again. Yes, it's true that the new Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X support quick charging, but no, despite both phones being built around Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs, neither has "Qualcomm Quick Charge" of any variety (1.0, 2.0, or any other version). What they do have is pretty good, if specifications are to be believed (we'll reserve final judgement until after our full reviews), but there is quite a bit of confusion around what kind ...

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    If you’ve got an LG G4, you’ve got a pretty solid smartphone. We enjoyed our time with the new flagship, finding it to be a "leather looker with a killer camera" in our full review – and in some ways it even compares favorably with the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. But out of the box, it’s lacking one cool feature that OEMs have steadily been adding to their smartphones: Qi wireless charging. Sure, you could buy a Quick Circle case from LG to enable this feature, but it’s pricey – and not everyone finds a booklet-style case convenient. Fortunately, as we recently learned from a ...

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    Contrary to some rumors circulating around the Internet, I'm not dead (not yet anyway) - I've just been on vacation for the last two-and-a-half weeks. I had a wonderful time with my family, saw some beautiful places, soaked up some sun, and spent way too much money on food. Since I am "Joe the Android Guy™" after all, I had plenty of tech in tow, but before we dive into that, let me give you a little background about how we went about our trip,then share some vacation tech tips to help your next excursion be more enjoyable. Including my mother-in-law, we have eight people in my ...

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    Whether you use a tablet, phablet, or phone, and regardless of what OS powers it or which brand is stamped on its backside, we all have one thing in common: our devices all have batteries that always need recharging. Power bricks come in all shapes and sizes. Some may feature a quick-charging standard, others may be the run-of-the mill chargers that simply get the job done. Regardless, they all require a power outlet - and there never seems to be one of those around when we need it. What we need is a compact, portable, charging station that we can take anywhere, uses power from the ...

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    It seems like a fairly simple feature, and one that slipped past most people when Android 5.1 started rolling out: Device Protection. According to Google, if your phone is lost or stolen, when this feature is enabled you'll need to log in with your Google account to unlock it. That's a good thing, but in the past it was fairly easy to circumvent any type of security by factory resetting the device. Data was fairly secure, but the device could then be used (or sold) by the thief (or "finder"). Now, thanks to the Lollipop 5.1 update, on supported devices, factory resetting is protected by an ...

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    By now it should be pretty clear that we're all carrying around full-featured computers in our pockets. Just like the desktop and laptop computers that we've used for years, our mobile devices have the same features and functionality as their full-sized counterparts - sometimes even more: microphones, cameras, broadband Internet connections, and more. One of the main areas of concern is that our smartphones and tablets are "always on" and "always connected" to the Internet. Combined, these present many threats that most users  may not even realize. Not to worry! Here are a few android ...

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    In the smartphone world, a five-inch display is a pretty sizable canvas … but what if you could add, say, 30 inches to that? That's the question the Microsoft HD-10 was built to answer, and we're taking a demo unit for a spin in today's video! The Microsoft HD-10 is an unassuming hockey puck of a device, a plastic pancake with two cable ports and precious little else to make it stand out. That means it blends right in with the Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire Stick, or whatever else you've got tethered to your television ... while leaving the real up-close-and-personal connectivity matters ...

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    One of the things we all like about Android is the ability to customize our smartphones and tablets to suit our personalities and the way we each use our devices. Out of the box, stock and unrooted, Android is a very powerful operating system. With just a couple taps you can enable sideloading of apps, and you can even install any of several app stores. However, if you're brave enough and with a little technical know-how, you can OEM unlock and root your device. From there, the sky is the limit! In the past we've talked about various hacks, apps that require root, custom ROMs, and more. ...

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    The YotaPhone 2 packs a lot of features that set it apart from the typical smartphone. It's got more curves than we usually see these days, a volume rocker that does double-duty as a SIM card tray, and it comes to us from Russia. Oh, and it's got a second screen around back. The YotaPhone 2's E-Paper Display (EPD) is a 4.7" 960x540 E-Ink panel that dominates the rear cover of the device. With no backlight, just 16 levels of greyscale and a pixel density of only 235ppi, it's not all that impressive on paper – but YotaPhone nonetheless manages to squeeze a lot of mileage out of its key ...

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    I've been a T-Mobile customer since the company was called Voicestream - yeah, that long. One of the things I always loved about the service was that I could tether a PDA, tablet, or laptop to my phone and be able to get work done anywhere I needed to. I'm not a road warrior, so I don't use a lot of data when tethered, nor do I tether very often, but I need to be able to tether with only a little notice. Regardless of whether I was using Windows Mobile or Android, tethering was never terribly difficult, I just opened the settings, turned it on, and away I went. When Android KitKat came ...

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    Yesterday I talked about why I rooted my Nexus 6. No, it wasn't to run a custom ROM (though that's a great reason to root your smartphone). No, it wasn't so I could run a custom kernel (although that's another wonderful reason to root as well). My reasons for rooting the Nexus 6 were much more basic: so I can run tools and utilities, and make configuration changes that I wouldn't otherwise be able to do. Many of you mirrored my sentiment, and even listed off a lot of apps and utilities that you use thanks to rooting your own phones (thank you for that, by the way, I've got a whole lot more ...

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    Thanksgiving in these United States is historically a time for people of different backgrounds and beliefs to come together to enjoy each other's company and conversation over a delicious meal of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Or so the greeting card companies would have us believe! In reality, it's one of the most stressful days of the year as family (who have been avoiding each other all year) are forced into the same room. Diverse opinions and preferences clash. Tempers soar. Words are said. Feelings are bruised. Eventually more than a few go home vowing to write off their ...

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    My wife kept waking up in the morning exhausted. Instead of being rested and rejuvenated she felt tired and groggy. Being the loving husband that I am, I immediately ran to technology for help! "Google, how can I sleep better using my Android?" The results were quite interesting. The first thing any true geek is going to do is look for ways to gather data. After all, how can you hope to fix a problem if you don't know the root cause? "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" apparently doesn't work in every situation. My first thought was to acquire a special piece of hardware like UP ...

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    As Android users, most of us have the ability to sideload apps directly onto our smartphones and tablets - no app store needed! People who use other operating systems on their mobile devices aren't always so lucky. To load apps on their devices from sources other than those officially sanctioned by the company that makes their phone, many have to go through a jailbreaking or unlocking process. While not necessarily a "bad" thing, jailbreaking brings with it many other implications that reach significantly deeper than simply installing an app. Most Android-powered devices provide the ...

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    We've spent the last week or so talking about smartphone security and how the privacy-centric Blackphone can help keep your communications as well as your data private. We've looked at all the technical stuff that's going on to keep you secure, as well as given it our full hands-on review treatment. But what if you don't have a Blackphone? If you're running (virtually) any Android-powered smartphone or tablet, you're in luck! Here are three Android security tips that will improve your security and privacy right now! 1. Encrypt Not long ago we heard of people buying old smartphones and ...

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    The Amazon Fire Phone is a pretty interesting device, but it comes with the Amazon Appstore instead of the Google Play Store. What if you want some other apps? Because the Fire Phone is based on Android, you're in luck! Just like other Android-powered devices, you can sideload applications right onto the device, but the process looks a little different than you may be used to. Here's how you can sideload apps on the Amazon Fire Phone. Enable Sideloading Head into the Settings by pulling down on the top of the screen and tapping the Settings cog. From there, find Applications & Parental ...

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    "OK Google" is a pretty neat tool. It lets you search for virtually anything -- as long as you're on your homescreen. A recent update to Google Search unlocked that limitation and allowed users to enable OK Google everywhere, even on the lock screen! The update requires Android 4.3+ (or 4.4+, depending on who you ask), it also needs the latest version of the Google Search app and the latest update to Play Services. Head out to the Play Store and make sure you've got all the latest updates installed before you continue. Next, from your homescreen, simply say "OK Google" to bring up the ...

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    Android L is still very much a developer preview, but there's one thing power users have been missing more than anything else: Root. With Chainfire away at Google I/O, development on this front slowed to a crawl. Lucky for all of us, Chainfire is back and has updated SuperSU to version 2.01. If you'd like more information about this version of SuperSU, head over to Chainfire's post. Some have claimed that this new version of SuperSU contains the ability to auto-root your Nexus 5 or 2013 Nexus 7. Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, rooting your Android L-powered device isn't ...

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    There was a time when, if you wanted to type something on your smartphone, you'd just type it. No muss. No fuss. It was simple. You pressed the keys of the letters you wanted to appear, and that was that. Unfortunately, that wasn't good enough. We had to get auto-correct (and the hilarious fails that came as a result). We had to get spell check. We got the ability to swipe our fingers across the keys, rather than all that annoying "typing". Some keyboards even got smart, watching our communications and adapting to how we write, getting better and better over time. We even got predictive ...

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